I followed the old one down a path through the forest. The mother of the forest followed right behind me. We came to a small clearing and the old one ducked into a cave to one side. I followed him but it was dark inside. After a moment, my eyes began to become acclimated to the dark. There were florescent stones on either side of the path back into the cave. They glowed in various shades of pink, green, blue, and yellow.
We walked for a few minutes and then the cave opened up into a large chamber. There was a long stone table in the center of the room. The old one gestured to me to sit. The mother of the forest went around the table and sat opposite of me. There was a gong at the head of the table and the old one picked up a mallet and struck the gong making one clear tone. Then he sat at the head of the table.
We sat listening to the gong reverberate. It sounded for what seemed to be a long time. As it was finally dying down, three creatures that looked like very thin, very tall monkeys entered from the rear of the cave. They each carried a covered tray. They set one in front of each of us. The old one nodded and a monkey took the cover off the mother of the forest’s dish. It appeared to be a pile of dirt.
The next monkey uncovered my dish. It was covered in various types of seeds and grains. I watched each of the others looking for a cue to proceed. The last monkey took the cover off the old one’s dish. It was what looked like a steak and baked potato. It smelled like one too. The others just stared at their food. I followed suit.
After a few minutes of this, I noticed that I was starring at the mother of the forest. In the dim light it was hard to be sure but it seemed to me her face was becoming wrinkled like the bark on a tree. It also seemed like she was taller than I remembered her being.
The old one had grown taller and no longer had wings on his back. His head had become more round in shape and his beak had become a nose. He had a mouth and two ears. And where his wings had been he had two arms. By now, he was starting to look like a human male.
I looked down at myself. My arms had disappeared and my legs had gotten extremely short with talons instead of feat. I know the drill. If you look like an animal, you are treated with precautions. The old one spoke out loud. “Do you appreciate my concerns better now, my friend? I certainly understand yours.”
Before I could speak, he nodded his head and I suddenly found myself on the bridge of the ship. The old one in his human form was with me. I found I couldn’t speak but my thoughts were audible to anyone in the room with me.I could understand everything that was being said.
The XO was standing there with Ellen. They were looking at a tablet. They looked up and the XO stepped in front of Ellen. The helmsman hit the intercom. “Captain, you’re needed on the bridge!”
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.